How to Grow Plants Indoors without Sunlight?

All of us know that a plant needs Sunlight, Water, air, and soil to survive. Among these, the Sunlight and air are completely free. Although Soil and water are free, today you have to pay for using them.

The scarcity of open garden spaces and limited resources have forced us to shift toward indoor gardening. An interesting fact about indoor gardening is that it keeps your home as well as your mind fresh and green.

If you have enough space, soil, and water then you are ready for growing plants inside. But Lack of sunlight is a big problem with indoor gardening and we gardeners have to face it. Sunlight is essential for every plant but it cannot reach inside your house. Isn’t it a Big problem- What to do next? – Nope! Don’t Worry there is an Easy Solution to this problem.

How to Grow Plants Indoors without Sunlight
How to Grow Plants Indoors without Sunlight?

Check out my previous post- What is the Official State Flower of all 50 states?

Can You grow Plants without Sunlight?

Yes, Indeed you can grow plants without sunlight. All you need is an artificial light source that can fulfill the need for sunlight. Actually,  every plant needs light to prepare its food. This process is called photosynthesis and I think you all know about it.

Natural light or sunlight contains different wavelengths of light. Most of the colors that we see are the parts of the visible spectrum of sunlight. The light outside this spectrum is mostly invisible to naked eyes. Ultraviolet and Infrared lights form the invisible spectrum or the black light.

We just need to find the wavelength and intensity of lights required by the plants, we want to grow. We can grow the plants without sunlight just by replicating the desired wavelength of lights artificially.

How to Grow plants Indoors without Sunlight?

It is now confirmed that plants can grow without sunlight. The next important question is how to replace natural sunlight with an artificial one, in short how to grow indoor plants without sunlight?

If you don’t want something fancy or technical then you just have to place your indoor houseplants near the eastside window. You can also move your plants to the balcony or veranda whenever required.

But if you want a completely hassle-free solution then artificial lights are the best options. Several different grow lights are available for your help. These lights are categorized into 3 different categories.

  1. Halogen Based grow light (HPS lights)
  2. Fluorescent tube lights
  3. Led grow lights

Check out my Favourite Grow lights on Amazon

How to use Halogen-based (HPS) lights to grow indoor plants?

Halogen lights are also known as High-Pressure Sodium lights or Metal Halide lights. These are the most powerful and costly grow lights. These lights are mostly used by commercial gardeners. They are very efficient and effective in growing all types of plants.

An HPS grow light can provide bright intensive light similar to natural sunlight. It also releases a high amount of heat to the surrounding environment. In fact, these HPS lights can produce 1000Watts of light to fulfill the need for sunlight.

Commercially these Halogen-based HPS lights are the best option to grow plants indoors without sunlight.

  • These HPS lights usually come with stands and other fittings. Check out for available accessories before purchasing.
  • Place the light is the stand at least 5-10 feet away from your plants. Actually, the best fitting height should be given in the lightbox. You should follow the recommended settings for the best results.
  • Test the lights before placing your plants under them. It can produce too much heat, so precaution is always required.
  • These lights are very hot during operation. You should avoid it to contact any other accessory or wiring else it can cause a fire. Always be careful with these lights.

If you are planning to install High-pressure sodium lights for your indoor garden then always take the help of a professional. It can cost a little bit more but it is always good to stay safe than sorry.

Also, Read- Can you use garden soil for indoor plants?

Pros & Cons of Using HighPressure Sodium grow lights

Pros of HPS lights Cons Of HPS Lights
  • These lights can truly replicate natural sunlight
  • It can produce each of the necessary wavelengths of light.
  • The intensity of light is sufficient to grow any plant indoors.
  • It is effective for large-scale indoor farming.
  • These lights are very costly.
  • It produces too much heat.
  • Not safe for pets and children.
  • It is not very good for in-house gardening due to the extensive setup and amount of power used.
  • It requires extra care with ventilation setups.

How to use Fluorescent light for indoor plants

grow plants indoor using grow light
Grow plants indoors without sunlight using Grow lights

Fluorescent light is very common in indoor gardening. Sometimes intentionally while most of the times unknowingly we use these lights for indoor plants. Actually, the basic tube lights or CFLs are a common example of fluorescent lightings.

The main reason for the extensive use of fluorescent light in indoor gardening is the price. These lights are cheaper than Sodium, Halide (HPS) lights. They are also very convenient to use and require a low power supply. The amount of released heat is also very low.

Overall a fluorescent light is a more efficient and practical option for indoor grow lights.

Steps to Use a Fluorescent light for indoor plants

  • Use long shelves to hold the plants. The lights can be easily attached to the roof of each stack-self.
  • You can use some zip ties to hold the tubes in place.
  • Align the wiring to the sides of the rack to avoid any direct contact with water.
  • Test the lights before putting the plants.
  • If everything is good then these lights can last for years without any problem.

Pros and Cons  of using Fluorescent lights

Pros of Fluorescent lights Cons Of Fluorescent Lights
  • These lights are cheap and really cost-effective.
  • It can produce white light. All required wavelengths of lights are produced.
  • The intensity of light is sufficient to grow any plant indoors.
  • It is effective for medium to large-scale indoor farming.
  • The amount of heat released is not too much.
  • These lights are safe for the house with pets and kids, some Special precaution is required.
  • The intensity of light produced is low as compared to HPS lights.
  • These tube lights are mostly made of glass which can easily break. More durable plastic-made fluorescent is also available.
  • If the light breaks then you have to deal with chemical residue. These compounds are harmful to plants as well as human beings.

Use Led Grow lights for indoor plants

LED is the most affordable light source for indoor plants. These led lights consume the least amount of energy. Also, the lowest amount of heat is released as compared to HPS and fluorescent lights.

The light produced by led is very different as compared to other grow lights. Other grow lights produce white lights while LEDs can produce true vivid wavelengths of lights. LEDs with blue, white, and Red lights are used for gardening.

The installation of led lights is effortless, and it is very safe for your pets and kids.

  • Buy the best quality LED grow lights for your plants.
  • Place the lights above the plant shelf at a height of 1-3 feet as required.
  • Keep the wiring away from water in-out lets. Also, avoid water contact with the LED set.

Pros and Cons of Using LED indoor Grow Lights

Pros of LED lights Cons Of LED Lights
  • These lights are affordable.
  • It can produce different wavelengths of light.
  • The intensity of light is sufficient to grow any plant indoors.
  • It is effective for medium to small-scale indoor gardening.
  • The amount of heat released is the least as compared to HPS and fluorescent lights.
  • These lights are safest for pets and kids. No special precaution is required.
  • The intensity of light produced is low.
  • Sometimes these lights are difficult to install with Plant Shelf racks.
  • These lights are affordable but not the cheapest.

Buy these on Amazon-Barrina super bright light for indoor plants

Final Words

Indeed you can grow any plant indoors without sunlight using any of these grow lights. Just make sure what are the actual requirements for your plants. Then decide which light is good for you. Don’t go for anything big or fancy, just the right and efficient one is enough of your plants. Write down any query related to growing lights and Indoor gardening. I will definitely try to solve your query.

Keep reading Keep gardening.


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

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